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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-91-007
Details
Synopsis: ON DECEMBER 3, 1990, AT 1354 EST, NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT 299, A BOEING B-727, AND NORTHWEST FLIGHT 1482, A MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-9, COLLIDED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF RUNWAY 03C/ 21C AND 09/27 AT DETROIT METROPOLITAN/ WAYNE COUNTY AIRPORT, ROMULUS, MICHIGAN. THE B-727 WAS TAKING OFF FROM RUNWAY 03C, AND THE DC-9 HAD TAXIED ONTO THAT RUNWAY JUST PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. VISIBILITY WAS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN 1/4 MILE IN FOG AT THE TIME. ONE FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND SEVEN PASSENGERS ONBOARD THE DC-9 WERE KILLED; THERE WERE NO INJURIES TO THE PERSONS ONBOARD THE B-727.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT COMPANY TO REDSIGN THE MANUAL TAILCONE RELEASE MECHANISM ON DC-9 AND MD-80 SERIES AIRPLANES TO CORRECT ITS PROPENSITY FOR DAMAGE AND MALFUNCTION. REQUIRE REDESIGNED RELEASE MECHANISMS TO BE INSTALLED ON NEWLY MANUFACTURED AND INSERVICE AIRPLANES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: ROMULUS, MI, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA91MA010AB
Accident Reports: NW Airlines, Inc., Flights 1482 and 299 Runway Incursion and Collision
Report #: AAR-91-05
Accident Date: 12/3/1990
Issue Date: 1/8/1991
Date Closed: 4/29/1992
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/29/1992
Response: The Safety Board is pleased to note that the FAA issued two airworthiness directive (ADs) (Docket Nos. 91-NM-136-AD and 91-NM-137-AD) on December 5, 1991, and December 16, 1991, respectively. These ADs require replacement or modification of the internal and external tailcone release system cable and handle assemblies for certain McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and DC-9-80 (MD-88) series airplanes. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-91-4 and -7 are now classified as "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/24/1992
Response: THE FAA ISSUED TWO FINAL RULE AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES (ADS) (DOCKET NOS. 91-NM-136-AD AND 91-NM-137-AD) ON 12/5/91 AND 12/16/91 RESPECTIVELY. THESE ADS SUPERSEDE AN EXISTING AD CURRENTLY REQUIRING REPETITIVE INSPECTIONS AND FUNCTIONAL CHECKS OF THE TAILCONE RELEASE SYSTEM FOR PROPER OPERATION. THESE ADS REQUIRE REPLACEMENT OR MODIFICATION OF THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TAILCONE RELEASE SYSTEM CABLE AND HANDLE ASSEMBLIES FOR CERTAIN MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-9 AND DC-9-80 (MD-88) SERIES AIRPLANES.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/17/1991
Response: Safety Recommendation A-91-7 states that the FAA should require McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company to redesign the manual tailcone release mechanism on DC-9 and MD-80 series airplanes to correct its propensity for damage and malfunction and require redesigned release mechanisms to be installed on newly manufactured and inservice airplanes. The Safety Board notes that the FAA has issued two notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (Docket No. 91-NM-136-AD and 91-NM-137-AD) proposing to supersede an airworthiness directive (AD) currently requiring repetitive inspections and functional checks of the tailcone release system for proper operation. These NPRMs propose to require replacement or modification of the internal and external tailcone release system cable and handle assemblies for certain DC-9 and DC-9-80 (MD-88) series airplanes. Based on the above information, Safety Recommendations A-91-4 and -7 are classified as "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/19/1991
Response: THE FAA HAS ISSUED TWO NOTICES OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING (NPRM) (DOCKET NOS. 91-NM-136-AD AND 91-NM-137-AD) PROPOSING TO SUPERSEDE AN AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE CURRENTLY REQUIRING REPETITIVE INSPECTIONS AND FUNCTIONAL CHECKS OF THE TAILCONE RELEASE SYSTEM FOR PROPER OPERATION. THESE NPRMS PROPOSE TO REQUIRE REPLACEMENT OR MODIFICATION OF THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TAILCONE RELEASE SYSTEM CABLE AND HANDLE ASSEMBLIES FOR CERTAIN MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-9 AND DC-9-80 (MD-88) SERIES AIRPLANES.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/2/1991
Response: The Safety Board notes that the FAA sent a letter to McDonnell Douglas Corporation requesting a redesign of the DC-9 tailcone exit system so that the tailcone will jettison upon opening the bulkhead door similar to the design of the MD-80 tailcone exit system. Additionally, the Safety Board notes that the FAA has requested that McDonnell Douglas Corporation redesign the DC-9 and the MD-80 tailcone internal release handle so that it can withstand a significant side load when pulled. Pending further information, Safety Recommendation A-91-7 is classified as "Open-- Acceptable Response."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/18/1991
Response: THE FAA SENT A LETTER TO MCDONNELL DOUGLAS CORP. REQUESTING A REDESIGN OF THE DC-9 TAILCONE EXIT SYSTEM SO THAT THE TAILCONE WILL JETTISON UPON OPENING OF THE BULKHEAD DOOR SIMILAR TO THE DESIGN OF THE MD-80 TAILCONE EXIT SYSTEM. ADDITIONALLY, AS AN INTERIM CORRECTIVE MEASURE, THE FAA HAS REQUESTED THAT MCDONNELL DOUGLAS CORPORATION REDESIGN THE DC-9 AND THE MD-80 TAILCONE INTERNAL RELEASE HANDLE SO THAT IT CAN WITHSTAND A SIGNIFICANT SIDE LOAD BEING APPLIED BY AN OCCUPANT.